The Undefeated (1969 film)

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The Undefeated
File:The Undefeated - Film Poster.jpg
1969 Theatrical Poster
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
John Wayne (uncredited)
Produced by Robert L. Jacks
Written by James Lee Barrett
Starring John Wayne
Rock Hudson
Music by Hugo Montenegro
Cinematography William H. Clothier
Edited by Robert L. Simpson
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • November 27, 1969 (1969-11-27)
Running time
119 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7,115,000[1]
Box office $8,000,000[2]

The Undefeated is a 1969 American Western film directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and John Wayne (uncredited) and starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson. The film portrays events surrounding the French Intervention in Mexico and is also loosely based on General J. O. Shelby's escape to Mexico after the Civil War and his attempt to join with Maximilian's forces.


After the American Civil War, Union Colonel John Henry Thomas (John Wayne) and company attack a group of Confederate soldiers, only to be informed after defeating them that the war had ended days ago. Another group of Confederate soldiers, led by Colonel James Langdon (Rock Hudson) prepare to join Emperor Maximilian of Mexico. Langdon torches his plantation before he departs rather than have it fall into the hands of carpetbaggers. At the same time, Thomas, with his adopted Indian son Blue Boy (Roman Gabriel) and his surviving command, brings a herd of 3,000 horses across the Rio Grande for sale in Durango, Mexico.

Halfway there, Blue Boy notices that the tracks of a group of bandits indicate that they are planning an ambush on a group of travelers. Blue Boy and Thomas go to warn the travelers, who turn out to be the Confederates. Together the Americans repel a group of Mexican bandits who attack the Confederate wagon train.

The two factions meet at a Fourth of July party and relive the war through a drunken brawl. They then split and go their separate ways. Meanwhile, Langdon's daughter and Blue Boy have fallen in love.

When Langdon's company reaches Mexican Republican General Rojas (Antonio Aguilar), he holds the Southerners hostage for Thomas' horses. Thomas orders the herd to stampede into the General's camp as ransom payment for their former enemies. As the crowd ride out of the camp the people finally have common ground as they all listen to Yankee Doodle Dandy.


Merlin Olsen plays the blacksmith Little George. Both Gabriel and Olsen were pro-football all-stars for the Los Angeles Rams. Olsen continued his acting and sports announcing after his gridiron days were over.[3]


The stunt co-ordinator was Hal Needham, later a film director.


The film earned $4.5 million in rentals in North America.[4]

See also


  1. Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p255
  2. "The Undefeated, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved May 26, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. The New York Times Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Big Rental Films of 1969", Variety, 7 January 1970 p 15
  • O'Flaherty, Daniel C. General Jo Shelby: Undefeated Rebel, University of North Carolina Press, 1954; ISBN 0-8078-4878-6; republished, 2000.

External links